June 5 – November 13, 2021 | Group Runs at The Diamond

Celebrating 20 Years of Training!

Need help preparing to run a marathon? Looking to make new friends while you train? Then look no further than the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team, designed to motivate and train individuals to run the VCU Health Richmond Marathon. You’ll find yourself not just equipped with a detailed 23-week program, but a great crew of experienced coaches and inspirational teammates as well. One of our favorite perks? A dedicated SAG team that supports the weekend group runs. That’s right… water stops and Nuun right there for you while you TRAIN. So let Richmond’s running community carry you to 26.2… when you hit that final stretch at the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, you’ll be glad you didn’t go it alone!

Please Note: The Marathon Training Team is subject to change due to current COVID-19 mandates and recommendations. As we make decisions, we will be sure to update this page with the latest information.

Marathon Training Team Fees

Through May 17: $165

May 18 – June 30: $180

Many of my running partners and close friendships have been developed as a result of MTT! It motivates me on weekends throughout the summer to stick to my plan which has resulted in me achieving many of my goals.
– Brittany Easter
The teams, coaches, and information we received were all amazing and exactly what I was hoping when I signed up. This was my first year and I knew nobody going in, but came away with a bunch of new running friends and a lot more knowledge about marathon training/running.
– Chris Strauss
Through MTT, my circle of friends has grown significantly. I now have a group of friends that I regularly hang out with and run with during the off season as much I do during the training season.
– Erin Folkenroth

Marathon Training Team registration includes:

  • 23-week training program. Training begins Saturday, June 5 or Sunday, June 6. Group runs begin Saturday, June 12 or Sunday, June 13 (you choose the day), with a detailed schedule for you to follow
  • Organized and supported weekly group runs on your choice of Saturday or Sunday mornings
  • Personal guidance from our veteran team of experienced coaches
  • Opportunity to earn virtual badges through milestone and challenge completion
  • A special Sports Backers Marathon Training Team shirt and a technical race shirt
  • FREE entry in the 44th VCU Health Richmond Marathon on November 13 and all associated race benefits
  • Special Race Day support along the course from coaches
  • Clinics on subjects like nutrition, running attire, and other related topics

Registration

Register Now

Please note: Training Team entry fees are non-refundable and entries are non-transferable, no exceptions.  Once we receive your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate.

Already signed up for the marathon and want to participate in the training team? No problem! Just click here on switching-races and follow the prompts. The system should only charge you the difference between the marathon and the training team, please contact us if it charges you the full amount. If you originally paid by check, you can send a check made out to Sports Backers for the difference in price between the training team fee and your marathon entry fee you’ve paid for the event. Just indicate if you’d like to train on Saturday or Sunday, with the early (6:30 a.m.) or late (7 a.m.) group, and whether you’d consider yourself a 500 miler (novice) or 700 miler (intermediate). Also include your most recent 10k time.

Income Based Rate

At Sports Backers, our mission is to inspire people from all corners of our community to live actively.  Engaging underserved populations is one of our core values and one way we act on this value is by offering Income Based Rates for all of our training teams.  These special rates are offered to those who qualify and would otherwise not be able to participate.

Those who make $25,000 or less annually or receive proven TANF, Food Stamp or Energy Assistance Benefits from Social Services and are not currently claimed as a dependent by anyone making above $25,000 annually are eligible for a special $30 rate for the Marathon Training Team.  Please provide one of the following documents for verification:

  • Verification/Eligibility letter from Social Services
  • Most Recent Tax Return

For those that qualify for the income-based entry fee, please come by our office or mail the completed mail-in entry form and your verification document to Sports Backers, 100 Avenue of Champions, Richmond, VA 23230

For more information, please email [email protected].

Entry Confirmation

Already registered? You can confirm your entry here.

Additional Info

If you can’t find the information you are looking for below, please email the head coaches.

COVID-19 Updates

Sports Backers Marathon Training Team (MTT): COVID-19 Impacts and Procedures

As we navigate our ever-changing world, our mission to inspire you to live an active lifestyle remains. Now, more than ever, the Sports Backers team wants to keep you moving, but only in a way that keeps our participants, coaches, volunteers, staff, and communities safe and healthy. Our team has been working hard to revise our training plans to meet the current social distancing requirements so that we can get back to celebrating your active lifestyles through Marathon Training Team in the safest way possible.

With individual’s safety and transmission mitigation in mind, we have new training modifications and procedures that will allow us to safely operate MTT. These policies and procedures are based on current recommendations for COVID-19 safety protocols and are subject to change at any time. The following does take into account vaccination status. You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose following a 2-dose vaccine or 2 weeks following a single-dose vaccine.

What Sports Backers Marathon Training Team Coaches/Staff will be doing:

  • All coaches, staff, and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask pre and post runs, including while at the stadium, parking lot, bathroom, team meeting areas, SAG stops and any other surrounding areas.
  • No onsite registration, all registration must be done prior to arriving for training.
  • Reducing communal surfaces
  • Hand sanitizer available for usage

MTT Covid-19 Safety & Procedures:

  • All participants who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask at all times pre and post runs, including while at the stadium, parking lot, bathroom, team meeting areas and any other surrounding areas.
  • All participants who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged but not required to wear a mask while running and at SAGs.
  • When arriving for your teams first assigned start time, you must keep 6ft of social/physical distance between you and another person.
  • We will start a limited number of participants on the route at one time, while also sending small groups of participants in different directions.
  • When at a SAG do not. Please consider putting on a mask if not fully vaccinated.

Our policies and procedures will continue to be updated as appropriate, all to ensure that we keep participants, volunteers, staff, and communities safe and healthy. These procedures are subject to change at any time and we appreciate your flexibility.

Click here to view the Marathon Training Team COVID 19 Impacts and Procedures and Sports Backers COVID Exposure Protocols and Policies.

Important Rules & Notes

  • Training Team entry fees are non-refundable, no exceptions. Once we receive your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate or are unable to complete the program.
  • You may defer your 2021 Sports Backers Marathon Training Team entry to the 2022 Marathon Training Team through July 12 for $20. After that date, there will be no more deferrals. Please note that your free entry in the 2021 VCU Health Richmond Marathon, by itself, may not be deferred to the 2022 event.
  • If you choose to run the CarMax Richmond Half Marathon or Allianz Partners Richmond 8k, rather than the VCU Health Richmond Marathon on November 13, you may do so for no additional cost. You will be able to make this switch from late June through the expo.
  • All SAG/water stops are cup-less so you must be prepared with your own hydration device.
  • Strollers/Baby joggers are not permitted at group runs or in any of the events connected to the VCU Health Richmond Marathon.

Head Coach

Carrie Parker

Carrie Parker
Carrie helps lead the Team, bringing with her eleven years of experience with the MTT and five years coaching the YMCA 10k Training Team. She actively supports and trains with many athletes within our local community. Carrie is certified as an RRCA Adult Distance Running Coach. She’s deeply grounded with the desire to see everyone get active and happy, regardless of the speed or the distances…so let’s get moving!

 

Fitness Requirements to be on the Marathon Training Team

There is a 7-hour time limit to complete the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, so that requires maintaining an average pace of about 16 minutes per mile for the entire 26.2 miles. Based on the industry standard pace calculators, comparable times would be about 3 hours, 20 minutes for a half marathon or 1 hour, 30 minutes for a 10k. Each participant should be able to comfortably finish four miles several times per week while primarily running prior to starting the Training Team on June 5/6. We will monitor the progress of all of our runners during the early part of our training to make sure you have the fitness to complete the marathon in the required time. You must be at least 16 years of age to participate. If you are under the age of 18, you must have a parent/guardian registered for training team and present for all training runs.

Clinics

Please Note: Clinic format is subject to change due to current COVID-19 mandates and recommendations.

There will be clinics held on everything from injury prevention to nutrition to shoes. A schedule of these events will be given to registered Marathon Training Team members. These clinics will meet virtually until we are safely able to meet in person.